FFA Cup Draw – Rounds 2 and 3 Preview

So the NSW Qualifiers of the FFA Cup are finally upon us!

The draw for rounds 2 and 3 were broadcast yesterday and the draw has been published which you can see below.

Round 2 FFA Cup NSW Qualifiers

Round is comprised of 7 matches, the winners of which will move onto round 3 with their opponents determined already.

From the outset we can see that 3 representatives from the Illawarra area feature in 3 games in round 2; Wollongong Uni host Leeton United, Wollongong United play away to Fairfield and Fernhill play away at Bankstown.

Match of this round would have to be former State side Fairfield Bulls hosting one of the top teams from the Illawarra; Wollongong United. We expect that this will be an exciting game with plenty of goals from both sides. It’s hard to pick a winner in this one, we suspect extra time may be needed to separate the two.

Round 3 FFA Cup NSW Qualifiers

Round 3 is where the action really kicks off with 57 matches to be played.

It’s also the round where the State League and NPL 3 sides enter, giving the association teams some tough competition.

Coogee United v Lilli Pilli will definitely be one to watch, with both teams being two of the strongest in the state outside of the NPL set up. Coogee are last years Champion of Champions winners and Lilli Pilli have plenty of cup experience.

We also have a few local derbies in this round as is expected with so many games.

Highlights of local derbies include Bankstown Sports Strikers v Moorebank Sports, Albion Park City Razorbacks v Coniston and Lugarno FC v Peakhurst FC.

The only all NPL affair will be Parramatta FC hosting SD Raiders. Parramatta has been training hard in the off season and will look to start their campaign off strong. SD Raiders the last few years have shown they know how to win and almost made it through to the round of 32 had it not been for some late magic from APIA.

We know that there will be a lot of focus on whether or not State League/NPL 3 sides will be knocked out in their first game against association sides and there are plenty of opportunities for that to happen.

Western NSW Mariners face a long journey to North Rocks SC, however the club is no stranger to huge away games. Will their experience in travel help the side, or will playing mid week be a hindrance?

Prospect will face a tough away trip to the Shire to take on Cronulla Seagulls, and Granville Rage may struggle against West Pennant Hills.

Finally Gazy Auburn may find their trip to Kirrawee Kangaroos tough, as the Shire side may a great cup run in the qualifiers last year and are definitely very experienced.

The largest trip in the opening rounds is Leeton travelling to Wollongong Uni, roughly an 11 hour round trip.

The shortest trip being Lugarno v Peakhurst, a 10 minute round trip.

No matter what happens, we’re very excited that the cup has finally returned.

Image Credit: FNSW

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